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Improving Teacher Quality

K-2 STARTS: Science and Technology Assistance for Rural Teachers and Small Districts

Grant Number: 07-401

Grant Award: $991,948

Duration of Project: Monday, October 01, 2007 - Friday, September 30, 2011

Project Subject Areas: Science

Grade Band: K-2

Project Websites:

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • University of the Pacific

Local Education Agencies:

  • New Hope Elementary, Thornton

Partners:

  • San Joaquin County Office of Education
  • Merced County Office of Education

School Sites:

  • New Hope Elementary, Thornton

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:

35

Goals:

By 2011, students in 35 Kindergarten-Grade 2 classes whose teachers participate in K-2 STARTS, will show improvement in their English language arts, mathematics and science achievement through an increase in inquiry -guided, standards based, English language and mathematics infused science instruction.

In order to accomplish this goal, teachers in the 35 classrooms will:

  1. Increase their science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge so as to more effectively teach the California Academic Science Standards at their specific grade level as they implement the adopted materials selected for their school sites
  2. Access information, resources, and network with grade level teachers from their own and other rural schools through the effective utilization of technology to collaborate and improve their science teaching
  3. Employ research based strategies for teaching science to effectively serve their linguistically and ethnically diverse population
  4. Improve teacher skills related to English language arts and mathematics skills for integration into science lessons with specific attention to learning how to improve writing skills by using science notebooks

Activities:

Activities for all Project Participants:
  1. Intensive university based Summer Institutes (1 week/ 42 hours)
  2. Regional Institutes (3 full day/3 evening/30 hours) during the academic year
  3. Additional School Site "Workshops" led by teacher leaders (8 hours annually)
  4. Classroom follow-up, mentoring, coaching, shared work on model units (24 hours annually).

These will focus on linking science content to CA science standards, the development of inquiry based science instruction, the infusion of English language learning and mathematics instruction, the construction of coherent "curriculum maps," and the use of student notebooks as an instructional and assessment tool.
Activities for Teacher Leaders:
  1. Two day summer leadership institute (16 hours)
  2. One release day for additional planning and review during the academic year (8 hours)
  3. Two meetings annually for additional planning and support (6 hours)
  4. Dedicated time to facilitate construction and review of school specific units/ products (5 hours)

Anticipated Outcomes:

  1. Learners in target classrooms will demonstrate improved achievement in science (as compared to learners in comparison classrooms and measured by standardized and classroom based assessments)
  2. Learners in target classrooms will demonstrate improved achievement in English/language arts and mathematics (as compared to learners in comparison classrooms and measured by standardized and classroom based assessments)
  3. Project teachers will demonstrate content knowledge in physical, earth, and life science (as compared to non-project teachers and measured by pre-post assessments, classroom observations, etc.
  4. Project teachers will demonstrate enhanced ability to design/deliver inquiry guided, standards based, language arts and math infused instruction (assessed by observations, qualitative assessments of products, etc.
  5. Project teachers will demonstrate enhanced sense of efficacy in teaching inquiry guided, standards based, language arts and math infused instruction (as compared to comparison teachers and measured by surveys, interviews, etc.)
  6. Project classrooms and grade levels will manifest enhanced opportunities to learn in science (as compared to comparison sites and measured by administrator/teacher surveys, etc.
  7. Teacher leaders will demonstrate enhanced capacity for instructional leadership (as assessed by interviews, surveys, etc.).

Contacts:

Project: Cathy Ringstaff, Research Director, cringst@wested.org
Institute of Higher Education: Lynn Beck, Project Director, lbeck@pacific.edu
Institute of Higher Education: Jim Hetrick, Co-Director, jhetrick@pacific.edu
Local Education Agency: Joanne Oien, LEA Co-Director, joien@sjcoe.net

Questions, Comments, Corrections?

Send an e-mail to Teacher_Quality@cpec.ca.gov .